Paramount Arts Center
1300 Winchester Avenue,
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Housed in the restored, historic Paramount Theatre, which was opened on September 5, 1931 with the Paramount ‘talkie’ documentary movie “The Silent Enemy”. It had 1,309 seats. The Paramount Arts Center began presenting performing arts in 1972. Its artistic vision is to create a cultural environment that reaffirms the area’s Appalachian traditions while broadening the region’s aesthetic parameters. It accomplishes this vision by presenting several interdisciplinary series of arts programming – both in the historic venue and in identified outreach areas. Eighty-nine percent of Paramount sponsored events focus on educational opportunities for the youth.
Paramount-sponsored programming includes the annual Entertainment Series, which offers headliner entertainment, the Broadway Series which brings the best of touring Broadway productions, a Discovery Series which highlights interesting and unusual productions, Kentucky Music Trail, which brings the best in country artists, and the Youth Education Series, which focuses on programs for tri-state area schools. In March 1999, the Paramount partnered with the tri-state’s most-listened-to country music station WTCR for the monthly presentation of the Highway 23 Jamboree, which is a family-oriented, Nashville-style production. Other programming includes gospel concerts and various other rentals, which have included national promoters, business teleconferences, government summits as well as local talent, business, education and civic groups. Resident companies include the Ashland Youth Ballet and the Backstage Players, a community theatre group for students. Recent programming additions include a Jazz Series and a Family Series.
The theatre seats 1,400 people and has an average of 120 performances per year. Approximately 120,000 people attend these events with an economic impact exceeding $4 million. The theatre is listed as a Kentucky Landmark on the National Register of Historic Places. Some interesting side notes include the fact that the theatre has a resident ghost, “Paramount Joe,” and fans still come to see the location of Billy Ray Cyrus' famed “Achy Breaky Heart” video shoot.
From September 2008, movies were introduced into the programming.
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